Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage has quickly taken over as director of his upcoming thriller Vengeance: A Love Story. The film was originally set to be helmed by Harold Becker (the filmmaker behind titles such as Malice, Sea of Love and Taps), yet hit a snag a few weeks before cameras were set to roll when Becker dropped out of the project. The project- based on a 2003 novella by Joyce Carol Oates- has been gestating for a while now but appears settled to start production shortly with Cage both directing and starring.
The reason behind Becker’s sudden departure are reportedly due to budgetary concerns with producer/financier Michael Mendolsohn. Producers are said to have wanted to cut about $1 million from the project which prompted concern on the overall quality of the picture from Becker’s standpoint. The film was written by John Mankiewicz (House of Cards), but allegedly Becker worked on the script considerably. Pre-production on the film had already started to take place in Atlanta as Becker exits. The movie was to start shooting the first week of April.
The film centers around a Niagra Falls Police detective who becomes obsessed with the case concerning a rape victim with a 12-year-old daughter. Cage will portray the detective (in a role at one point ear-marked for Samuel L. Jackson), yet three key roles have yet to be cast: the rape victim, her mother and her daughter as the film delves into how this brutal crime and its aftermath effect the lives of each.
This would mark Cage’s second trip behind the camera. He previously made the gritty 2002 drama Sonny which starred James Franco and American Beauty‘s Mena Suvari. Cage was last seen on screen in the indie thriller The Runner and will also appear in Oliver Stone’s upcoming bio Snowden.